If you’re a dog owner, you’ll know how upsetting it can be when your precious pet gets sick. Just like children, dogs are susceptible to all kinds of infections and illnesses, and it’s very difficult to see them suffer through it.
While you can’t prevent your dog from ever falling ill, you can use various tactics, including high-quality Lively Paws vitamins for dogs, to strengthen their immune system so they have the best chance of fighting off any nasty bugs they encounter.
Your Dog’s Immune System
A dog’s immune system is a complex network of cells and organs that are specifically designed to protect him or her against harmful invaders. These specialized immune cells are able to recognize bacteria, viruses, toxins, parasites, and any foreign material that can make your dog sick. The immune cells pass signals to one another throughout the body in order to maintain a defense system that can produce a fast and effective immune response when necessary. The immune system makes up part of the dog’s lymphatic system.
How Does The Immune System Get Compromised?
A dog’s immune defenses can be weakened for a number of reasons:
- Stress: Ongoing stress or stressful situations can be caused by moving home, unfamiliar situations, loud noise, and so on.
- Illness: Becoming ill weakens your dog’s immune system further, which makes it more difficult to continue fighting other pathogens.
- Allergies: An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a perceived threat. This can deter a dog’s immune defenses from fighting off other threats.
- Surgeries: Surgical intervention is often a major burden on your dog’s immune system.
- Vaccinations and medication: These can temporarily burden the immune system, causing the dog to become more vulnerable to other diseases.
- Age: Immune defenses in all animals decline over the years. For this reason, an older dog is more sensitive to bacteria and viruses and can fall ill more easily.
Simple Ways To Boost Your Dog’s Immune System
Feed Whole Foods Rich In Antioxidants
A healthy diet is paramount to a strong immune system. A dog’s gut bacteria (known as the microbiome) make up around 70% of their immune system. This bacteria is highly dependent on the nutrients absorbed from their food. If your dog’s diet is of low quality, they may develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It’s vital that you feed them a wholesome diet, and supplement with vitamins for dogs where necessary.
Dogs also need a good dose of antioxidants every day in order to fight off harmful free radicals. These include vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc. Feeding your dog a wide variety of fruits and veggies will provide a range of these disease-fighting antioxidants.
Maintain An Ideal Body Weight
Dogs require a LOT of physical activity to stay healthy—their immune system depends on it. Lack of exercise in dogs can result in weight gain and weakened defenses. Excess fat secretes a huge range of hormones that promote inflammation; the precursor for many diseases. Regular exercise helps prevent and reduce the build-up of unhealthy excess weight while at the same time reducing inflammation, pain, and the possibility of disease.
Like diet, exercise needs are unique to every dog depending on their age, breed, and general health. Take a leisurely 30-minute walk around your neighborhood, go running together, play fetch at the park, or go swimming in local rivers. Agility training at a dog park or canine exercise facility is also a great way to keep your dog in shape.
Stress from travel, competition, being around other dogs, and an unfamiliar environment can all contribute to poor immune function. Some dogs are more prone to anxiety and stress than others.
You can help your dog relax and de-stress through regular exercise, soothing music, or natural supplements such as CBD oil. Try to keep their environment as quiet and calming as possible, and perhaps invest in a weighted vest that helps them feel secure.
Remove Toxins From The Environment
While it’s not possible to prevent your dog from encountering harmful toxins, you can make an effort to remove toxins from their immediate environment. Make sure their bedding is clean and free from chemicals. Avoid feeding them commercial or processed foods, as these are more likely to contain artificial additives and other toxins. Use natural, plant-based treatments on your dog’s fur, and stick to natural medicines where possible.
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